Four years after the change of the competition format and the strong success of this new formula, the Tour Voile pushes the envelope even further for 2018 with a new and ambitious deployment.
Competition will be the central focus of the event thanks to a shorter and more impacting event: Seven Legs and 15 days of racing versus nine Legs and 18 days in the past.
On dry land, the spectator viewing area has been redesigned to honour the skippers and the competition. The village activities will be replaced by a mobile apparatus: the Tour Voile BASE that will be located on the water front to follow the races.
The 2018 course
Like each year, the Tour Voile will sail past the most stunning French coasts and will stop at some of the most iconic beaches in France.
For the 32nd time in 40 years, the Malo-les-Bains beach in Dunkirk will host the Start for three days of racing. Two legs in Normandy will follow: Dieppe that promises a wonderful coastal raid passing in front of the Côte d’Albâtre cliffs and Barneville-Carteret, within reach of the Channel Islands and especially Jersey.
For the Brittany leg, the race will head toward the Golfe du Morbihan. The Tour Voile will make a stop in Baden, across from the Île-aux-Moines for two days of racing in an exceptional setting before heading to the Mediterranean. First at Gruissan, which is renowned for its high winds, where the entire paddock will be positioned on the beach of the chalets. Then at Hyères, the Diam24ods will compete in a sumptuous décor between Porquerolles, Port Cros and the Île du Levant before setting sail to Nice for the 7th and final Leg. The Tour Voile will conclude in the Baie des Anges and will put on a magnificent show for the spectators, across from the Promenade des Anglais.
New features for the 2018 Tour Voile
In this desire to put the focus on competition, the prologue and postlogue days will be replaced by days of Nautical Stadium competition.
Thus in Dunkirk, the skippers will head straight into the thick of the racing with a start featuring three days of Nautical Stadium competition.
In Nice, the Final Leg will be settled over days of Nautical Stadium racing. The Super Finale will be held on Sunday July 22 and will crown the most complete sailors at the end of an intense and relentless event.
More than 30 teams expected
Registration for the 2018 Tour Voile has been open since the start of the week. 40 entries are available for the 2018 edition.
Damien Seguin, Fondation FDJ – Des Pieds et Des Mains, winner of the 2017 Tour Voile
“I like this new format, the organisers have listened to the feedback from the competitors. We wanted something that is shorter in time: nine legs at this pace was tiring! It will be just as intense but a little shorter. I think we will be able to give 200% and that will be really nice. If I return, it will be a fine project and once again I will give it all I’ve got! ”
Teva Plichart, Trésors de Tahiti, 2nd 2017 Tour Voile
“The format will be very intense and very interesting. We realize that there will be 15 days of racing this year and only five Coastal Raids, which will give a lot of weight to the Nautical Stadium days. The team configuration will have to be a little different; we’ll have to build it intelligently. It is going to be very intense and we have to prepare! I have a special fondness for the route, because I made my Tour debut in 1998 at Barneville-Carteret, so I think it is good that this city will be on the 2018 route! Baden in the Golfe du Morbihan is a lovely town but as a skipper, sailing in this area is always stressful! ”
Bernard Stamm, Cheminées Poujoulat, 9th 2017 Tour Voile
“This format suits me well, it is good that there is density, if we were to have more down time it would be harder.
We won’t be able to afford any mistakes; we’ll have to be on point straight away!”
by A.S.O./Tour Voile